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Blog: Ball interviews at Tennessee, but staying at Georgia

Georgia assistant coach Tony Ball interviewed for an opening on Tennessee’s staff, but is staying with the Bulldogs, athletic director Greg McGarity confirmed Friday night.

Tennessee was looking for a running backs coach, but coach Butch Jones announced on Twitter Friday night that Robert Gillespie was hired for the job from West Virginia.

Ball, a Chattanooga native who played football at Tennessee-Chattanooga, coached Georgia’s running backs from 2006-08 and has coached the wide receivers for the last four seasons.

McGarity would not confirm a report from FootballScoop.com that Ball accepted a counter-offer with Georgia or disclose any salary increase that Ball may be getting. Ball’s current salary is $210,000.

“Coach Ball does such a great job with all of those guys in getting them ready to play whenever the opportunity comes,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said Wednesday when discussing some younger receivers heading into spring practices. “I feel like they’re in good hands.”

Reached Friday night, Ball declined comment about Tennessee’s interest. Former Georgia assistant coaches John Jancek and Willie Martinez, who were at Georgia with Ball, now are defensive assistants at Tennessee.

Ball is at least the fourth Georgia assistant to draw interest for other jobs off a staff that led Georgia to its second straight SEC East title.

Defensive line coach Rodney Garner left to join the staff at Auburn, his alma mater. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham interviewed for the same job with the NFL’s New Orleans Saints and Bobo reportedly rebuffed interest from Virginia Tech for its offensive coordinator job. Bobo is expected to get a raise and could get a multi-year contract.

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